Risky Business: International Engine Manufacturers Largely Avoid Addressing Ties To Iranian Drone Program

(New York, N.Y.) — This month, United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) identified multiple European businesses believed to be actively engaging with Ozone Hobby, a U.S.-sanctioned entity known to supply engines to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) for its military drones program, as well as evidence that U.S.-based payment processors Visa and Mastercard continue to facilitate Ozone’s transactions. Ozone’s founder Murat Bukey, a Turkish national, is serving a 28-month prison sentence in the U.S. after pleading guilty to conspiring to export U.S. weapons technology to Tehran.  

UANI has contacted multiple firms believed to maintain ties with Ozone, including the Netherlands’ AMT Jets, Germany’s StefansLipoShop (SLS), and Spain’s Jets Munt. Each firm, among others, was recently advertised as a business partner by Ozone. UANI has also contacted Visa and MasterCard, both of which appear to provide payment services for Ozone sales.

In response to UANI’s concerns, Jets Munt has cut ties with Ozone, removed links to Ozone from its website, and pledged to investigate any connections to Iran, affirming their strong condemnation of “any type of terrorism,” and agreeing to contact Spain’s Technical Office for Barriers to Internationalization (OTBI) for further advice. UANI applauds their quick and responsible actions. AMT Jets and SLS, however, have failed to respond.

AMT’s failure to respond is particularly troubling in light of previous allegations of its part in the procurement network for Iranian surface-to-air (SAM) missiles, and raises questions for U.S.-based dealers of AMT products, including Jet Model Products (Raymore, Missouri), Dreamworks Model Products (Daytona Beach, Florida), and Extreme RC Precision (White Bear Lake, Minnesota).

According to the Wisconsin Project on Nuclear Arms Control, AMT-made Titan engines are used to propel the “358” SAM after solid fuel exhaustion. According to the U.N. Panel of Experts on Yemen, established pursuant to U.N. Security Council Resolution 2140, AMT engines were shipped to Hong Kong via HSJ Electronics and Vista Automation before arriving in Iran. AMT’s Titan engine is presently advertised by Ozone. UANI previously contacted AMT in March 2022.  

To read UANI's Business Risk Matrix outlining the risks associated with conducting business with Iranian companies, please click here.